At Ascent, you’ll find a group of lifelong learners that lean into creativity. We approach every request as an opportunity to look for new answers. When you come to us with a need that doesn’t fit into a neat, ready-made solution, we believe that it only makes sense to look toward the uncommon way of doing things. Like our name says, we’re the kind of bank that’s seeks upward movement, for customers and ourselves. And we’ve been thinking this way since 1970.
In 1970, Paul Caruso, Sr. moved to Helena and established Ascent Bank, formerly First Security Bank of Helena. Paul believed that being a family owned and managed bank meant truly supporting the community and creating a culture that saw every customer as having unique needs. Paul and the entire staff saw finding solutions for customers as their sole purpose. That’s why Paul was always accessible to customers - he treated everyone the same way he wanted to be treated - as a human being, not a number.
Today, Loren Brown and the rest of the management team make themselves available for customers and continue to see every customer as a whole person whose character matters. Their philosophy is easily understood from how they see the loan process: They’ll be the first to tell you, “If you’re hesitating to apply for a loan because you think you’re missing something, just know we look at more than the numbers - we can talk and get to know each other better - because who you are matters to us.”
Ascent believes that a strong local bank needs the support of a strong community, just as a strong community needs the support of a strong local bank. We contribute to numerous local and state causes, including Carroll College, the Queen City Ballet Foundation and Komen Montana, the Kay McKenna Youth Foundation, St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation, Helena Food Share, YWCA, Big Bothers Big Sisters, HBIA,West Mont, Helena Exchange Club, 4-H, Leadership Montana, and Carroll College.